Asperger’s

ASPERGER’S

Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is a pervasive developmental disorder with autistic-like characteristics, but with normal to above average intelligence and verbal abilities. AS was first described by Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger in 1944, who referred to these children as “little professors”. While this syndrome has a wide range of signs and severity, the outstanding features are social awkwardness, lack of empathy, self absorption, poor nonverbal skills, excessive interest in a small range of topics, and other signs that are common to classical autism. Many more males than females are affected and the common underlying mechanism, as in other neurobehavioral disorders is Functional Disconnect Syndrome – decreased communication between the right and left sides of the brain. Typically, the right hemisphere is most affected; however, areas of the left hemisphere may be deficient as well. For that reason, a careful history and extensive neurological examination is needed to design a remedial program to enhance communication between the two sides of the brain. When hemispheric integration is employed correctly, the results are very positive.